Premarital Sex

We had a guest lecturer at the Seminary yesterday, Rev Dr Stephen Willis, who wrote his PhD dissertation on the “relationship between premarital sexual activity and marital dissolution” through the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. While his talk had so many great talk points and gems to ponder on and even places of rebuke for us who are raising kids without any thorough thought processes.

But what stood out for me more than the sexual practices activity and unwise decisions made by our adolescents, was the awesome and important role and responsibility that we as youth pastors and adults leader should play in the lives of teenagers in assisting and guiding them to live lives of purity. But what should this guidance look like? How do we go about educating adolescents on this important topic and experience in their lives?

 

 

Dr Willis gave some advice on how to address this important aspect namely:

  1. We have to engage young people before they engage in any sexual practices. The mean age for sexual engagement and experimentation usually is around 15 years old. That means we have to begin engaging with teens by the time they hit the double figures. Yes that’s right, you read correctly. By the time they reach 10 years old, we should have engaged them from a responsible perspective otherwise they will be receiving the information from less reliable sources such as friends, the internet, movies and magazines. And with the steady moral decline out there we sure do not want to take that risk.
  2. We have to educate and empower parents to be able to have this dialogue with their kids. Believe it or not, parents are still the most influential sources and guides in the lives of adolescents. For too long have parents abdicated their roles and responsibility to youth workers, teachers and other people of “influence” to guide and teach on issues of morality in the lives of their youth. It’s no wonder why there is so much rebellion from teens against parents who just let go of their right and privilege to guide and nurture.
  3. We have to encourage younger ages for marriage. I know this might sound weird and against our cultural grain. But here’s the thinking. If adolescents are having sex at an earlier age and marrying at a later stage, then it becomes obvious that the years between will accumulate the amount of sexual partners engaged. Yet at the same time, it would be wise to delay dating to a later age so that there would be less temptations and pressures to engage in sexual activity. This simple, yet I can imagine volatile talk point could save our adolescents from facing and experiencing unnecessary risks of physical, emotional and even spiritual trauma.

So where to from here?

Let’s just get the conversation going! Put your voice in there!

Advertisements

The Novice

It’s been a while since I last spoke at a youth gathering, in front of what will probably be hundreds of youth (well at least that’s the hope). And to be honest, my nerves are messing me around quite a bit, all thanks to Keenen Manuel aka Dippy for inviting me 🙂 . It seems that the fear of public speaking is listed amongst the top fears in the world and often rated number one. So apart from not speaking in this type of setting for a while and public speaking being listed close to the tope of the world’s fear list, is also the fact that it’s about eternal security. How do you speak to this type of group of people, having so many pressures about something that can be life or death? (Boy talk about me slapping on the pressure!). So after years of public speaking, I realised again, that  it’s not something you can easily get used to. I’m just a novice after all…

Well if you are free come along to Silvertown Baptist Church on the 8th June 2012 @ 7.30pm, I’m sure it will be a great evening. The theme for the evening is Transformers.

The Songs We Sing

We all too familiar with the adage of be carefull of the songs we sing or listen to, because it has the potential to influence and affect the way we think and live.  I remember a song from my childhood days that goes,

“Oh, be careful little ears, what you hear. For the Father Up above, Is looking down in love, So be careful little ears what you hear.”

 After a chat with a buddy of mine about a popular song, I had to ask myself when is it ok to endorse a song? Or what does endorsing a song look like? Is it when we sing it? Or have it on our iPods, or phones, or laptops?

In youth ministry we are to stay abreast of trends and culture. We are to know what’s new, what’s hot and what’s not. We need to be aware of who the new cultural stars, influencers and movers are. But where do we draw the line with following trends?

The song I’m referring to above is “We are Young” by Fun. featuring Janelle Monáe. The song was released late 2011 and has been one of the most downloaded songs for the past few months since its release (see Billboard.com). It has also been scripted in the series Glee (Season Three Episode: Hold on to Sixteen) and now in South Africa where it has been used in a car commercial. The message of the song promotes some pretty bad behaviour and if we are not careful we could be led astray by the beat or enticing melody and land ourselves in some hot water. Let’s be honest, it sure is a fun (pun not intended 🙂 ) song to listen to and can be quite addictive.

But before I get carried away, what does this song promote. Quite clearly it promotes substance abuse; binge drinking; and consequences of such behaviour which could be numerous (what is the logical conclusion of carry me home tonight after I drank too much?). What about the scar that’s being referred to? Is it physical? Emotional? Is it abuse because the lover is apologising profusely?

I can understand how this songs can touch on the immortality and recklessness that defines young people. How they can conquer the world and live in the moment of pure bliss. I can see and experience how this songs tugs at the heart and creates pure desire for the beauty of NOW. Of camaraderie and friendship.  But it is misplaced. If we are not careful, we can encourage this misplacing of youthful abandonment and could have disastrous consequences.

Is that the kind of message we want to endorse?

Have a look at the video and see how easy it is to fall for the song.